7 Valid Reasons Elon Musk's SNL Appearance Is Getting Backlash

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Elon Musk

Elon Musk is hosting “Saturday Night Live” this weekend and not everyone is excited about it — particularly the SNL cast.

The controversial Technoking of Tesla apparently isn’t a fan-favorite among some series regulars who have proceeded to make no secret of their disdain.

Following the announcement of his upcoming appearance, Musk tweeted, “Let’s see how live Saturday Night Live really is.”

Bowen Yang, an SNL cast member, took to his own Instagram story to repost the tweet and ask the question many were thinking: “What the [expletive} does this even mean?”

Chris Redd also appeared to mock Musk’s attempt to crowdsource sketch ideas by correcting his terminology.

When Musk asked followers what “skits” he should do on the show, Redd reminded him that SNL is sketch comedy.

Musk’s episode, set to air on May 8 and which will feature Miley Cyrus as the musical guest, has garnered attention for all the wrong reasons, although it is yet to be revealed whether or not any of the cast members will refuse to appear in either skits or sketches alongside the mogul.

And while it’s certainly obvious they’re not Musk’s biggest fans, it’s less obvious why the Tesla founder is getting such a critical reaction.

Why do so many people hate Elon Musk?

There are some more obvious, albeit subjective reasons to dislike Musk. He’s not exactly known to be the most humble, down-to-earth of people. And as the second richest man in the world, it’s not surprising his success and wealth rub so many people the wrong way.

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But Musk has also had his share of specific, controversial moments that could be enough for many devoted SNL fans to find something else to do on that particular Saturday night.

Here are 7 reasons several SNL cast members ― and so many others ― dislike Elon Musk so much.

1. Musk is considered one of the largest contributors to the global wealth gap.

Now, becoming one of the richest people alive is somewhat impressive. I’m sure even the SNL cast and those who rage against Musk can grant him some level of admiration.

But ultimately, many feel, questions have to be asked about whether or not anyone can become a billionaire by ethical means. Do you make a billion dollars — or do you take a billion dollars?

Longtime SNL cast member Aidy Bryant appeared to take a subtle jab at Musk when she shared a screenshot of a Bernie Sanders tweet that read, “The 50 wealthiest people in America today own more wealth than the bottom half of our people. Let me repeat that, because it is almost too absurd to believe: the 50 wealthiest people in this country own more wealth than some 165 MILLION Americans. That is a moral obscenity.”

2. He once called a rescue diver who saved Thai schoolboys a “pedo guy.”

After Musk’s help was refused in an operation to rescue 12 Thai boys trapped in a cave in 2018, the Tesla CEO branded the 64-year-old diver who saved the teens a “pedo guy.” He later testified in court that this was a common phrase in his home country of South Africa and didn’t have any connotations of pedophilia. OK, Elon.

The diver had accused Musk of trying to make the rescue mission into a PR stunt by offering a submarine that was never used. Musk later won a defamation case taken against him by the diver.

3. Musk has peddled what many believe to be misinformation about Covid-19.

Musk labeled the deadly virus “not very deadly” and claimed, after many vulnerable young people died of Covid-19, that young people were not vulnerable to Covid-19.

He also claimed that shelter-in-place orders used to protect lives were “fascist.”

Then, when Musk himself contracted Covid-19, he questioned the legitimacy of coronavirus tests after he had gotten both positive and negative test results while showing early symptoms of the virus.

He also stated, in September, that he and his children would not be getting the Covid-19 vaccine when one becomes available.

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4. He has been accused of exposing Tesla workers to Covid-19.

Musk defied state orders by reopening Tesla’s Fremont Factory in Alameda County, California, despite a statewide lockdown during the pandemic.

He was later held responsible for a coronavirus outbreak at the plant that endangered several workers. However, rather than apologize and let his workers shelter-in-place at home, he filed a lawsuit against the county.

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Musk later dropped the suit and was allowed to reopen on the condition that safety and social-distancing measures be taken at the factory.

5. Musk is believed to be colonizing outer space.

Musk claims his plan to create a civilization in space will result in a “dramatically improved” life. Improved for who exactly, we don’t yet know.

His utopian plan to move 1 million people to Mars by 2050 involves creating loans that people will be required to pay back through work upon their arrival.

If this concept sounds familiar to you it’s because you were listening during history class when you learned about indentured servitude, which was used to create cheap labor by settlers in America.

6. He once claimed college is a waste of time.

Musk says college is “basically for fun” and “not for learning.” And some might agree. But it's pretty easy thing for a man with two college degrees to say.

Of course, those struggling to fund their college degrees or those who cannot afford to even go to college might disagree.

The statement was also particularly ironic given that job descriptions for Musk’s SpaceX require a bachelor’s degree and, in some instances, prefer a master’s degree.

7. Musk has been accused of taking advantage of workers.

Musk was once forced to apologize after a report detailed how outsourced workers for Tesla were paid as little as $5.

Several years later it was ruled that Musk was violating labor laws by firing a Tesla union activist and discouraging workers from unionizing.

Tesla has also been hit with allegations of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, racism, and homophobia.

Given this kind of history, we couldn't blame any members of the cast for bowing out of Saturday's show — or at least getting snarky with the billionaire on social media.

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her Twitter for more.